Case Studies

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View from the lake
Echo Lake Residence

The clients, who hired us to design this home on their lake area property, had done their homework. They had a good grasp of what they wanted to acheive, and how they might get there. The goal from the onset was a net-zero home with as much passive s Read More »
Modern Portland Residence

The Modern Portland Residence design is a balance of sustainability, the client's needs, budget, and context. In order to save on precious floor area, energy use, and money, an efficient floor plan was developed exploring bold moves like eliminatin Read More »
ROSE Cottage Project - Front Elevation ROSE Cottage Project - Aerial View 2012 Occupancy ROSE Cottage Project - Front Entrance ROSE Cottage Project - Rear Outside Deck ROSE Cottage Project - 3 Season Room ROSE Cottage Project - Kitchen View ROSE Cottage Project - Kitchen View 2 ROSE Cottage Project - Kitchen-Dining-Living Spaces ROSE Cottage Project - Front Entry (inside) ROSE Cottage Project - Master Bath ROSE Cottage Project - Master Bedroom ROSE Cottage Project - Mechanical Room - Geothermal Systems ROSE Cottage Project - Mechanical Room - Solar Thermal Systems: Tank Circulation Pump & Controls Diverter Valves ROSE Cottage Project - Fall South-Westerly View ROSE Cottage Project - Fresh Air Ventilation System Discharge Fans - Connected to ERV ROSE Cottage Project - Interior Geothermal Ground Loops Installation ROSE Cottage Project - Interior Solar Thermal Ground Loop Installation ROSE Cottage Project - Rear Elevation ROSE Cottage Project - Geothermal: Buffer Tank Solar Thermal Piping Header Geothermal Piping Header ROSE Cottage Project - Ground Temperature Graph ROSE Cottage Project - GEO-SOLAR HYBRID HEAT GAIN GRAPH ROSE Cottage Project - ERV and HEPA FILTER ROSE Cottage Project - PV POWER PRODUCTION GRAPH ROSE Cottage Project - RADIANT HEAT CONCRETE FLOOR ROSE Cottage Project - HVAC CONTROLS ROSE Cottage Project - Typical Annual Power Use Distribution ROSE Cottage Project - Exterior Geothermal Ground Loops Installation
The ROSE Cottage Project

This project takes the long-term investment of a high energy performance home (Zero Net Energy) and adds function and value by adding a multi-generational use layout and incorporating aging-in-place features. Although privately funded, the project wa Read More »
Net zero energy Grocoff Home Michigan Thrive Collaborative
Mission Zero House

When Matt and Kelly Grocoff first bought the Victorian-era Gauss house, it was their dream house . . . complete with lead paint, asbestos siding, zero insulation (except for a layer of newspaper in the attic dated 1902), a 1957 gas furnace, a fridge Read More »
Sol Lux Alpha

 https://www.honestbuildings.com/project/#!/view/85159/sol-lux-alphaThese four fine residences represent an evolution of design and convergence of technologies resulting in Carbon Neutral Living and Transportation. Off The Grid Design LLC, The Klein Read More »
house front 2014 before renovation first step in insulating: tear off siding second and third steps: apply moisture barrier and EPS foam fourth and fifth steps: apply 5/" ply and Tyvek sixth step: furring strips to keep air gap between house and siding seventh step: siding (LP Smartsiding ripped in half) Roofing 1: 18"x6" laminated beam inserted to support new roof Roofing 1a: laminated beam hefted in place by hand in 6 300lb pieces Roofing 2: 10" foam applied between OSB 'girders' Roofing 3: lateral 2x6"s covered in plywood for R-80 in all Geothermal: 4 250' wells drilled in a 30x40' backyard Basement insulated via 4" wide trench to footing Basement insulation: 4 inches of foam inserted into trench Flooring on 2nd floor: recycled maple ranging from 1875-1990 Interior ceiling: ducts and wiring hidden by ceiling soffits Soffits frame cove ceilings in all downstairs rooms Ceiling: finished coves and soffits in family room Master bedroom: cathedral ceiling dropped to barrel vault Master bedroom with barrel vault Wallboard - Certainteed to absorb formaldehyde for ten years main stairs complete with hand-turned Tuscan Doric columns kitchen before renovation kitchen after renovation
Victorian net zero renovation

Two retired professors, Linda and Stewart Herman, wanted to show that a standard city house on a standard city lot in chilly Minneapolis could be renovated to net zero in energy with no sacrifice in attractiveness, space or comfort.  These goals wer Read More »
Our solar panel array on the roof of our house our "Green Zero Carbon Home" Our heat pumps which cut our carbon footprint by 20 tons a year
Green Zero Carbon Home

We cut the carbon dioxide emissions of our 5300sf 1970's house by 43 tons per year getting us to a year round zero-carbon footprint. We are not only  saving money, our bills (for heating oil and electricity) are down $11,500 a year, but we are earni Read More »
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